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Pros and Cons of a Keto Diet

Ketogenic (Keto) is a term often used to describe a low-carb, higher fat diet. When following a low-carb diet such as this you will be eating more calories from proteins and fats (90-95% of calories) and fewer calories from carbohydrates. Eating keto means you will significantly reduce both healthy and unhealthy sources of carbohydrates. When eating such a small amount of carbohydrates your body will start to break down protein (muscle) and fat for energy which will generally result in weight loss. Some healthy unsaturated fats are allowed on the keto diet, but saturated fats from oils are generally encouraged as are both lean and high saturated fat protein sources. Fruits and vegetables are restricted to low carb items such as broccoli, cauliflower and leafy greens. It can take a few days of eating a keto diet for your body to begin using protein and fat for fuel. This is called reaching a state of ketosis.

While a keto diet may help with weight loss and even some specific illnesses, it may not work as well, or be the best choice of diets to promote peak performance. In many cases keto diets are generally meant to be short-term and focused on weight loss rather than long term health benefits. Per Brian Andrews NexGen Fitness Director of Fitness & Expansion, “While Keto has shown significant promise in the realm of aiding some with chronic illnesses and in terms of quick weight loss, it is a rather restrictive form of dieting that can be extremely difficult to follow long term. We always suggest moderation and calorie intake as the main focus, so as to allow sustainability and a higher chance of long-term success.”

As with any diet there are risks associated with keto. For the most part, the most common side effects are not serious. You might experience indigestion, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, mood swings or constipation. Less common, but more serious side effects could possibly include kidney stones or acidosis. Additionally, transitioning away from a keto diet, if not handled correctly, can result in quick weight gain as your body adjusts to the carbohydrate intake that has been missing.

If you are looking for a healthy long-term eating plan to incorporate into your wellness program NexGen Fitness personal trainers can perform metabolic testing to measure your resting metabolic rate and determine your optimal caloric intake. Additionally, NexGen’s Registered Dietitian can help you implement a plan that supports your health and weight goals while being sustainable to follow long term.